Guidelines for clubs on complaints, disciplinary & disputes
February 11, 2019
GUIDELINES FOR CLUBS RE COMPLAINTS, DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Please note that these guidelines are not binding and are issued in response to several requests for assistance in dispute resolution between members.
They are issued on the back of extensive experience in dealing with disputes and complaints over many years by Basketball Ireland.
We hope that they are useful.
- Every club member should be aware of the Clubs Complaints Procedure and who to complain to.
- A list of people to whom a complaint can be made should be listed in an appropriate place - these people may be both Committee and non-Committee members.
- Anonymous complaints should be discouraged.
- The complainant should be advised that when he/she makes a complaint, that the complaint should be put in writing and that a copy of the complaint will be given to the party being complained about.
- The party about whom the complaint is made should be given a copy of the complaint and asked for their response in writing within a specific time and told that their response will be given to the complainant.
- Both parties should be asked if they wish to have a hearing and if they wish to attend in person or be represented by anyone. If a hearing is called, a date and time for the hearing should be fixed.
- The person or persons to hear the complaint should be notified to the parties.
- If no hearing is required, then the matter can be decided on the basis of the written submissions.
- If a hearing is required, then it should be held. The decision made and the outcome should be communicated to the parties as soon as possible, preferably in writing.
- A record of the decision should be kept by the club.
- If there is an appeal mechanism within the club, then the parties should be advised of their right to appeal.
- Every club member should be aware of the Clubs Disciplinary Procedures.
- A Disciplinary Board or committee should be set up independent of the Club Committee to deal with all disciplinary matters arising in the club. Members of this board or committee shall be impartial and if any conflict of interest arises, that member, or members, shall withdraw.
- A person accused of misconduct or breach of club rules should have the right to have that accusation put in writing and be entitled to respond in writing if he or she so wishes.
- The Disciplinary Board/Committee can set up a meeting to hear the alleged misconduct or breach of club rules. It should notify the accused party of the date and time of that meeting.
- The accused person will be entitled to be heard and to call evidence or witnesses on his/her behalf.
- The Board/Committee shall be obliged to consider all evidence presented whether written or oral.
- When the Board/Committee has considered the evidence and reached its decision, it shall communicate its decision to the accused party including any penalty it wishes to impose on him/her in writing in accordance with the club rules.
- The accused should be notified of his/her right to appeal in accordance with the club rules.
- Every club member should be aware of the clubs Dispute Resolution Procedure.
- If a dispute arises between parties within the club, the dispute should be referred to the club committee to be resolved.
- If the Club Committee cannot resolve the dispute or do not, for any reason, wish to resolve the dispute, they may ask the parties to refer the matter to a mediator to mediate in the dispute.
- If both parties agree, a mediator can be appointed - then the parties shall agree the identity of the mediator. If they fail to agree the identity of the mediator, then the mediator shall be appointed by the club committee.
- The Mediator shall try to mediate a solution to the dispute and provide a solution that is acceptable to all of the parties. If the mediation is successful, then the parties themselves will have resolved the dispute. In that event, the resolution will be confidential as between the parties.
- If the Mediation breaks down, the matter will be referred back to the club committee for a hearing and decision, which will be final subject to any appeal provided for in the clubs rules.
- The decision of the Committee shall be communicated to all parties to the dispute in writing at the same time.
Mediation is a very good way of dealing with matters within clubs and the courts also take a similar view.
It is also advisable that clubs have appeal clauses in their rules whether it be to Basketball Ireland or to the local Area Board or to a body outside of the club as this clause can get disputes resolved outside of the club.
ISSUED BY BASKETBALL IRELAND – FEBRUARY 2019